Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Crafting Wargame Pieces

 Toys are a caricature of reality.”

Brian Sutton-Smith

I’ve had some occasional discussion lately about making the miniature wargaming hobby more accessible by – gasp! – playing with more easily acquired components than fully painted miniatures with diorama-quality terrain pieces. The amount of expense and effort can intimidate some who might otherwise dive into the hobby. Sure, it’s great to have painted miniatures and crafted terrain and play with them on the table; but buying and making them no doubt puts many off of the hobby by their sheer expense and effort. I started considering options to miniature soldiers and realistic terrain that could provide a satisfying play experience with minimal work. What options could I find to entice kids and newcomers into the miniature wargaming hobby that might fall into the realm of enjoyable craft projects they can then take to the table and play with? I’ll admit I was only partially successful; I failed to suppress my urge for more elaborate and realistic looking components.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

The Inspiration of Books

 Books are key to understanding the world and participating in a democratic society.”

Carl Sagan

Over the years I’ve found inspiration in many places – films, television, music, historical sites, museums – but perhaps nowhere more than in books. They have fueled my endeavors in writing, game playing, and game design, explorations of various historical periods, and, of course, further reading across numerous subjects and genres that engaged my imagination. They have helped expand my horizons through non-fiction, escape this world and explore others through fiction, and play within the realms of roleplaying games. I have always been surrounded by books. No doubt I inherited these tendencies in part from a family that encourages learning (including several who were teachers) and respects the value of books. Books have helped enrich my life and, I’d hope, encouraged me to help enrich the live of others in some small way.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Nothing Stays the Same

 Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.”

Napoleon Bonaparte

Last year around this time I celebrated my 10th anniversary blogging at Hobby Games Recce. I reflected on many elements of my adventure gaming life that had changed. This year, as I mark 11 years blogging here, I wanted to take a broad look at how some elements in the gaming world have changed over more than a decade, particularly things that have disappeared from my gaming scene. I’m not doing a comprehensive review – I don’t have time to skim over more than 400 blog entries – but I’m going for general impressions on a few key observations. In doing so I’m reminded how fleeting anything really is. Games, companies, websites, hobby stores, even online communities come and go. Their popularity and our immense enjoyment of them do not guarantee they’ll always be here for us. We must appreciate what we have in the moment.